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Lauren M United States of ...
This tour was wonderful! We had a fantastic guide who was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and somehow switched seamlessly between Spanish and perfect English. We had a lot of fun and would recommend this tour.
(Trip Nov 2016. I thought I sent a review in Nov but apparently it didn and #39;t go through)
I am writing this review quite a bit after we took this tour you will understand why at the end. I love coffee, and we heard good things about this tour, so we decided to go. The tour was extremely informative, with a history of the estate itself and how the coffee is raised and harvested. After the tour, we were given a chance to taste and buy some coffee from the estate. The premier coffee from the estate is Peaberry AA. I've had other really good Peaberrys from other parts of the world that I really did not like very much. With that in mind, I didn't really expect much from this coffee either. SURPRISE!! This is one of the best coffees I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying! We bought several bags to take home, and I enjoyed it all summer long. Unfortunately, I ran out at the beginning of the November, and I thought I would have to wait until next year. Then, by a fortunate turn of events, we were able to come down again in early December. I contacted the estate and asked if I could purchase coffee without buying a tour. They responded that not only could I buy coffee, they would deliver it to me at my hotel in San Jose' right after roasting was completed in the morning. I placed a large order, including bags for my friends whom I introduced to this coffee over the summer. Come 9 am on Saturday morning before we headed down to Domincal, Mario showed up with the delivery! He told us if we needed anything, or ran into any difficulties, we could call him on his cell phone and he'd be happy to give us hand. This is why we love coming to Costa Rica. The people are so friendly and helpful. Doka offers more than just Peaberry, they also offer a breakfast blend, french roast, italiano espresso roast, and decaf versions of everything. We brought one suitcase down just to make sure that we had enough room to bring all of our coffee home. see picture below
If you love coffee, take the tour and bring your wallet!
Really informative day learning about Costa Rican coffee and beautiful ox-carts. Our guide gave his tour in English and Spanish, allowing us to practice our own Spanish skills. It was a good value for the transportation, entry fees, meal, etc. Allow for extra time getting back to San Jose because the traffic is very dense.
We were promptly picked up at our hotel on the day of the tour and back again around dinner time. The local guide was very knowledgeable about the coffee plantation and its operation as well as the church at Grecia and the the ox cart and historic site and shop at Sarchi. He answered everyone's questions, gave details on the various trees, plants, sites and life of the people in the area as we drove to each of the places on the tour. The van was air conditioned and clean. We had a very good day with the guide and others on the tour a great lunch was provided at the coffee plantation as well. Would recommend the tour to others. You can add the volcano tour for the early morning as well and the others seemed to have enjoyed that part too.
I was worried about having to call Viator 24 hrs prior to the tour as we didn't have cell service in Costa Rica but we received an email a few days before we left to reconfirm our arrival which seemed to take care of things by responding to it which was easier for me.
We had a wonderful time on this tour. Jose and Guillermo were amazing. So very nice and helpful. The stops were perfect and not drawn out. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone.
Did not expect it to be this interesting or educational. LOVED IT. The coffee tour was interesting and Grecia is a beautiful town (we even saw a wedding at the church). Sarchi was an eye opener. A water powered business, talented artists. I intend to come back and purchase the furniture for my new house in a couple of years. The guide was very informative. THANK YOU!
Guide was very informative about coffee. I felt that we had ample time to ask questions and explore Grecia and Sarchi.
Michael K USA
Interesting tour and explanation of the coffee production. Grecia and Sarchi were short stops which was just right. A good tour for 1/2 day.
The tour was informative and interesting. When we took the tour, we were picked up after the others in the group had taken the Poas Volcano tour so we felt like we had missed some of the history that might have been covered before joining. I would definitely recommend booking the tour that includes the Poas Volcano along with the Doka Coffe, Grecia and Sarchi portion of the tour instead. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and we learned a lot. Pick up service from our downtown San Jose hotel and return was prompt and professional.
I enjoyed this tour. Only took half a day and we saw a lot. The guide was quite good---very well informed and he spoke good English. The drive wasn't terribly long and the bus and roads were pretty comfortable. The trip included a nice buffet which was good.
The tour and the guides were really good. I would recommend. Some things for people to remember is that this is Costa Rica and getting to where you are going to visit and coming back is going to involved traffic, road construction, and lots of crazy drivers. I booked the tour because it was a 4 1/2 hour tour and I was suppose to go back to work when it was over. I had hotel pick-up at 10:30am and thought I would be back to hotel by, at the latest, 4pm considering traffic and dropping off other tourists. After I was picked up at 10:30am we drove around and picked up the other passengers. What I didn't know was that I was going to be meeting up with people that were on the full day tour and that didn't happen until 1:30pm which started with a lunch. That means I had to wait 3 hours before the tour even started which wasn't mentioned anywhere in the itinerary. Instead of getting back around 4pm I finally got back to the hotel, after dropping off the other passengers a little after 7pm so I missing my work at night. If I knew that I would be ending with the full day tour group I would have taken the full day tour which included the Poas volcano.
Doka was interesting and made for a slightly shorter trip than my other tours. The guide was just ok as he chose to give us minimal informally while driving from Doka to Grecian, whereas I noticed that other tour guides were very knowledgeable and quick to point out local landmarks, flowers, etc. I'm giving the tour 4 stars based on the tour itself and not the guide.
This was a really fun tour. Not an action packed tour but informative and worth the money for the sight seeing. The stops in Grecia and Sarchi were ok if youre interested in donkey carts and old buildings but the donkey cart factory in Sarchi was interesting and to buy honestly local made souvenirs and support the real Costa Ricans was a plus. The coffee tour was the best, such a beautiful place and were able to see every aspect of the coffee making process was unique. The lunch at the coffee plantation was the only drawback, just not very good. The unlimited coffee samples were very good. We had the best guide during our entire CR trip on this day trip and he made it worthwhile. Very good experience all in all.
No problems at all with this tour, the hardest part was the traffic in the return trip back to the hotel.
I really enjoyed our tour guide and I liked being able to see different parts of the country - especially Grecia -a great little town. However, I thought that the coffee plantation tour would be more in depth which is the only reason that I did not give it a 5. However, it was raining so maybe they cut it short because of that.
Also the Sarchi trip to artisan area is not like a mercado in other areas. It is a woodshop with really cool stuff, but is just one vendor and everything in Costa Rica (and this place) is very pricey. I loved our tour guide - he was super friendly. Spoke clear spanish and english!
The tour and tour guide were excellent. The only problem was we were told to be at hotel at 10:15 AM and bus did not show until after 11:00 AM.
Ariel V USA
My first tour in Costa Rica. A great start I will never forget. Nature at it's best and great historical towns with lots to see. Simply beautiful.
Everything was amazing except that I was dropped off at the airport instead of the hostel so I had to pay 5 dollars for a taxi. Even though it said when I booked that the drop off point is the same as the pick up.
There was about two hours wasted in a mini bus doing pick-ups and linking with the main tour bus
which was going the full day tour - Doka Coffee tour being only half day.
The Doka plantation was interesting to experience all the processes involved in coffee making.
Also the mountain scenery on way to Grecia was awesome. I thought Sarchi was a beautiful and
enjoyed the souvenir centre as many of the items on sale were good quality. Lunch was included
and the veranda setting overlooking the coffee plantation and the mountains beyond was a joy.
Tour van showed up over an hour late. Never called my hotel to advise that they would be late. Coffee tour interesting. Other destinations were disappointing.
Our driver was an hour late. He was the person giving the tour at the coffee plantation and it was very short. We were brought into one small building where he spoke of how coffee beans where roasted etc then right to the gift shop. Prior to that we had a nice lunch but felt something had been cut from the tour.
This tour was split into three main parts and I will give my reviews on each - some were better than others.
1) The Doka coffee tour - the highlight of the tour. We were driven from our hotel to the Doka plantation, high up in the hills outside San Jose. We were greeted by a friendly member of the staff and given an hour long informative tour about coffee beans - how they're grown, processed and sold. And of course the opportunity to buy their product.
2) Grecia - a gothic-style church constructed of brick-red metal panes, built in Belgium and shipped to Costa Rica in the late 1800s. We had 20 minutes to walk around the church and take photos. Definitely worth doing.
3) Sarchi - billed as an 'artist's cooperative', this was the part of the tour I was looking to most - I imagined a bazaar-style setup with the artists there in person selling their items. What we got was a stop at a glorified souvenir shop (even stated on the sign in front). It was about 10% quality crafted items, and 90% mass produced cheap junk (T-shirts, cheap magnets, little trinket boxes, etc.) VERY disappointed here and didn't buy anything. I don't have a problem with souvenir shops per se, but I think there it could have been explained to us better.
The Sarchi stop is why this review is 3 stars instead of 5. But overall the tour is still worth doing.
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